Why We Hire Experts to Value Assets


Clients complain about the costs of discovery and experts to value things like pensions, businesses and other assets.  Frequently they waive discovery and valuation and instruct us to skip it altogether.  Steve Linden, who appraises classic automobiles, tells the story of a couple getting divorced and dividing up their martial assets.

The husband had purchased a couple of cars a few years earlier.  One was a beautifully restored 1966 Plymouth Valiant convertible that the wife drove.  The other was a 1970 Plymouth convertible that the husband drove from time to time.

As Linden tells it, “As the divorce proceeded the husband casually suggested that his wife keep the 1966 Plymouth convertible and he keep the 1970 Plymouth convertible. She didn’t see any problem with this and readily agreed. Her attorney however felt that it might be wise to have both cars appraised just to make sure that the value of both cars were similar, even if not exactly the same.”

Linden valued the wife’s care at $15,000.  But the husband’s car turned out to be a very rare and very valuable Hemi Cuda convertible, worth over a million dollars.